Foodbank volunteers step up

WOKING Foodbank made 60 deliveries in its first week of taking supplies to clients’ homes.

It is planning to double this number, as its volunteers step up the operation to deliver to vulnerable people six days a week.

Volunteers moving supplies out of the foodbank headquarters in High Street, Woking

The foodbank has been operating from its storage depot since 21 March, having closed its headquarters in Woking town centre and distribution bases in Goldsworth Park, Byfleet and Sheerwater.

Volunteers are working in the warehouse, at Titan Storage, Forsyth Road, Sheerwater, packing and sending out emergency parcels. So far, the number despatched is a 20% increase in people helped compared with pre-coronavirus crisis figures.

“We have divided our volunteer teams into household groups where possible,” said foodbank administrator Alison Buckland. “Where this is not possible, we restrict volunteering to only having two people working together at any one time, observing social distancing requirements.

Woking Lions Paul Robinson and Martine Young with supplies bought for the foodbank

“For the deliveries, we look for two members from the same household to take out the parcels.”

Alison added that the foodbank was continuing to work with its usual partners, including Citizens Advice, housing support officers, health visitors, social services and local charities.

“We are focusing our support on people unable to afford food, but we are not sticking rigidly to this and will help anyone who is not able to get to the shops because they are having to self-isolate,” she said. “We are also trying to link such people in with the many newly set-up local help groups.”

One of the volunteer team leaders, Brenda, has worked for the foodbank since it was set up in 2014. She and family members are sorting donations and making up parcels. “The processes at the warehouse are excellent and we were most impressed,” she said. “As a family, we really enjoyed it.”

Recent comments from clients include this one from Adrian: “Wow! Thank you so very much for the overwhelming blessings at a crucial time. All the best.”

Members of the public are continuing to be generous with donations of food and money to the foodbank. Woking Lions are using their charity fund to buy supplies, with members Paul Robinson and Martine Young delivering £400 worth of provisions to the warehouse.

The Lions have set up an appeal on their website for donations, with every penny collected pledged to buy specific supplies requested by the foodbank.

Donations can be made at www.virginmoneygiving.com – search for Covid-19 Woking Lions Club.

For help and advice on receiving support from the foodbank, call 07309 115862, between 10.30am and 12.30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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